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I've been reading some really good questions and answers here about Green issues, but I notice that we all still talk about recycling as if it's the most green thing we can do. In fact it uses energy so it's a bit less environmentally-friendly than 'reduce' and 'reuse'. Recycling is still important but how do you think we could get people to focus on reducing and reusing as much as they do on recycling?
Recycling centers in several countries may be meticulous when they pick up recycling bins, but I've learned they are not so meticulous when they process things. For example, in Germany, you can throw all your plastics into the recycling bin, but only certain types of plastics can actually be recycled. The rest get thrown away.
There are workarounds. Several grocery stores now allow you to refill plastic water jugs that you buy for a substantially reduced price. You might also consider having a water filter installed in your home. Also, buy two or three high quality bags to take with you and use those to bag your groceries rather than ending up with a ton of plastic bags. I'm also reminded of a joke by comedian Jeff Foxworthy who said, you know you're a redneck if you've got a whole set of salad bowls and they all say "Cool Whip" on the side. A funny joke, but not a bad idea...reuse containers rather than throw them away. I keep all my loose change in a plastic ice cream container.
I'd agree partly with filletofspam, although I'd say even reducing your consumption of red meat to two or three servings a month can have a huge impact. If it's possible, consider buying your meat from local farmer's markets, colonies, or hunters food banks.
I think your question is really important AND extremely difficult to answer. As far as I can see noone has really answered the HOW TO part of it. How do you convince a "toss away Society" to re-use and reduce? The problem is in the structure and the mind-set. I don't think there is any one way but multiple ways and maybe if re-using and reducing can be seen as fashionable, cool, "in" AND practical, economical AS WELL AS saving the planet and human beings. So we need lots of ideas and ways to convince poeple but basicaly poeple who care should... 1-Inform people about the alternatives and about the problems we are facing 2-Get involved in environmental groups, politicaly green groups, any type of social organization that can help get the word out and do something concrete about it 3-Be creative and try to find fun ways to reduce or re-use, get your community involved 4-Set an example by doing the best you can.
I think you have a good point flossheal. We should try to reuse and reduce as much as possible. there are plenty of ways to do it but the problem is noone is advertising it as much as recycle. If everyone read the fine print they would but noone does. We should try to encourage people to do it too. We need to advertise it if other people won't. You could start at your house you could reuse plastic cups and paper os styrofoam plates. Then you could reduce the amount of paper that can be reused that's being thrown away. You could also get creative around your neighborhood too by making posters and hanging them up. When school starts back you could get permission to make a speech or posters about it. I hope I helped!!!
That's great! No worries, piker187. Thanks for asking...
REDUCE is the first thing to do, because it means cut down on the amount of stuff we use, like fuel, plastic, packaging on the things we buy etc.
REUSE means that, when we have bought something, we get as much use from it as possible, instead of throwing it away after using it for a short while.
I'll leave it to other people to give some examples of how they do that, but the point is that those two things help the environment even more than recycling, but we don't talk about them enough.
Recycling aluminum makes sense because it takes substantially less energy to recycle it than to make more. Other forms of recycling are of dubious value.
I should point out that raising livestock is very expensive from an environmental point of view. Becoming a vegetarian is probably the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact.
I have always referred to them as the "three Rs" 1.reduce 2.reuse 3.recycle
and in that order.
we are such a toss away society, it is hard for many to break the habit. as a vegetarian I am glad that my initial reaction to the cruelty of meat production also helps the planet in many other ways.
Thanks. I wouldn't like to seem that I'm down on recycling - it certainly can help, but buying loads of packaging and then chucking it straight into recycling might make us feel we're doing something green, when really we need to reduce packaging instead...
recycling's easy, I recycle. but what do you mean by reducing and reusing, lol. answered your question the dumb way, I guess educate people because I don't even know
it is very difficult to answer but your question is very important. reuse is some times important.